Thursday, March 23, 2023

When the Walker Brothers lost their shirts in Market Harborough

This is a cutting from the Leicester Daily Mercury for Monday 6 September 1965, so the concert must have taken place on 4 September.

I see newspapers were still giving 'pop' scare quotes, but I like the wiggly line around the item. I used to do a similar thing with a black felt pen when I included press cuttings in Focus and we pasted the artwork down. Letraset and Cow Gum, isn't it? Marvellous. 

Where did the concert take place? A Scott Walker timeline gives the venue as 'Embi Hall', which must mean the Embi Club.

Cinema Treasures says this was the old County Cinema on The Square, which was originally the New Hall, where the Liberal Party held its public meetings. 

I like the idea that two of my heroes, J.W. Logan MP and Scott Walker, performed on the same stage. (More prosaically, New Look and Superdrug occupy the modern building on the site.)

Another Leicester Daily Mercury cutting, this one from 18 May 1968, reports a break in at the Embi Club, but gives its address as 55 St Mary's Road. 

This would have been the old Oriental Cinema, so if Cinema Treasures is right the Embi Club changed venue at some point. 

Yet another club, the Frolickin Kneecap, was still using a venue on The Square that year, which must have been the old County Cinema.

Can any reader confirm where the Walker Brothers concert took place?


Phil Beesley said...

Typography and even the squiggly border date this cutting. The story itself is a perfect example of press release repetition. The rivers of white space indicate that the typesetter and sub editor weren't really bothered about anything.

Letraset, Cow Gum and ALC stock images, surely? Manual pasteup and simple technology created a personal style on local newsletters. Focus newsletters didn't look like other things pushed through your letter box. They were a bit amateurish but, hopefully, thought provoking.

When desktop publishing, DTP, emerged in the 1980s, Focus leaflets changed too. I know that many Focus composers tried to use technology to make production easier whilst retaining their own style. Outside of politics, many authors found that DTP allowed them more creative freedom.

I live in a constituency which has had two parliamentary by-elections in the last 20 years. I haven't had a piece of paper through my letter box from a political party which didn't look like political junk. Everything had the aesthetic appeal and lifespan to recycling bin of a takeaway restaurant flyer.

It is not an impossible problem to fix. It isn't about newsletters which look like a local newspaper -- if you aren't a professional newspaper journalist, it'll probably be horrible anyway. Read up on readability, think about why the cover of a book or food can appeals to people. Never design a political leaflet which looks like a political leaflet unless you are targeting the small percentage of the population who read political leaflets.

Jonathan Calder said...

"Never design a political leaflet which looks like a political leaflet unless you are targeting the small percentage of the population who read political leaflets."

Wise words, Phil.